Home Dinner Cream Cheese Pasta

Cream Cheese Pasta

This cream cheese pasta is an absolute dream come true! I can’t get enough of it. The velvety sauce is made with cream cheese, Parmesan, garlic, and a touch of heat. It’s rich, decadent, and incredibly satisfying.

The best part? It comes together in a flash with just a handful of simple ingredients. There’s no fuss or complicated steps.

Cream Cheese Pasta made with cream cheese, Parmesan, garlic in creamy sauce served on a white plate.

You get a restaurant-worthy, indulgent meal right at home! Trust me, it’s destined to become a weekly staple in your household. 

Why You’ll Love This Cream Cheese Pasta

Quick Preparation: It can be prepped and ready to serve in the time it takes to boil and cook pasta.

Simple Ingredients: This recipe requires only a few basic ingredients commonly found in most kitchens.

Comfort Food: It’s a comforting and indulgent dish that will warm your soul.

Budget-Friendly: It’s a delightful and satisfying meal without breaking the bank.

Cream Cheese Pasta serving on a white plate sprinkled with parmesan cheese.

Ingredients

  • Pasta: The foundation of this creamy, dreamy dish. Choose your favorite!
  • Cream Cheese: The star of the show, bringing luscious texture and tangy flavor to every bite.
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese: A savory, salty sidekick elevates the sauce to cheesy perfection.
  • Garlic: It infuses the sauce with its irresistible, pungent charm.
  • Butter: It takes the sauce from great to absolutely glorious.
  • Seasonings: I use Italian seasoning, salt, freshly ground black pepper, and red pepper flakes (optional). 
  • Fresh Parsley or Basil: The fresh, vibrant finishing touch makes this dish look as good as it tastes.
Cream Cheese Pasta tossed in a skillet pan.

How to Make Cream Cheese Pasta

I can’t get over how easy this pasta is to make! Just follow these steps.

1. Cook the pasta. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente, according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the starchy pasta cooking water before draining.

2. Sauté the garlic. While the pasta cooks, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes until fragrant, being careful not to let it burn.

3. Make the sauce. Reduce the heat to low and add the softened cream cheese, 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water, grated Parmesan, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes (if using), salt, and pepper. Whisk until the cream cheese melts into a smooth and creamy sauce.

4. Toss the pasta. Add the drained pasta to the skillet with the cream cheese sauce. Toss well to coat the pasta. Add more reserved pasta water a little at a time to thin out the sauce as needed until it reaches your desired consistency.

5. Season to taste. Taste and adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper if needed.

6. Serve and enjoy. Serve the cream cheese pasta immediately. Enjoy! 

Tips for the Best Cream Cheese Pasta

Follow these tips and tricks for a crave-worthy dish!

  • Room temperature is key. Let the cream cheese come to room temperature first so it melts and incorporates into the sauce more easily.
  • Amp up the flavor. To give it a flavor boost, add garlic, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, fresh herbs, lemon zest, etc.
  • Pick your pasta. Choose a pasta shape that will hold onto the thick and creamy sauce well, such as penne, fusilli, rotini, or shells.
  • Get creative. Mix it up by adding in veggies like peas, spinach, or sun-dried tomatoes, proteins like chicken or bacon, or using different cheeses like goat cheese or Boursin.
  • Go wild with garnishes. Finish the dish with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese, freshly cracked black pepper, and chopped parsley or basil.
  • Make it a meal. Pair this rich pasta with a light green salad, steamed or roasted vegetables, and some crusty bread.
Cream Cheese Pasta serving on a white plate sprinkled with parmesan cheese.

How to Store

Here’s how to keep your leftover pasta fresh to enjoy at a later time.

To Store: Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. It can last for up to 3-5 days.

Freezing is not recommended due to the high moisture content of cream cheese. It’ll become grainy, and the sauce will separate.

To Reheat: For best results, reheat on the stove over low heat, adding a splash of milk or cream to help the sauce regain its creamy texture. Stir continuously to prevent the sauce from separating.

Cream Cheese Pasta

Course: DinnerCuisine: American, Italian
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

5

minutes
Cooking time

15

minutes
Calories

346

kcal

This cream cheese pasta is the ultimate comfort food! It’s creamy, indulgent, and ready in just 20 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz (225g) pasta (penne, fusilli, or your favorite shape)

  • 8 oz (225g) cream cheese, softened and cubed

  • 1/4 cup (30g) grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tbsp butter

  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • Reserved pasta water, as needed

  • Fresh parsley or basil, chopped (optional, for garnish)

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente, according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the starchy pasta cooking water before draining.
  • While the pasta cooks, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes until fragrant, being careful not to let it burn.
  • Reduce the heat to low and add the softened cream cheese, 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water, grated parmesan, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes (if using), salt, and pepper. Whisk until the cream cheese melts into a smooth and creamy sauce.
  • Add the drained pasta to the skillet with the cream cheese sauce. Toss well to coat the pasta, adding more reserved pasta water a little at a time to thin out the sauce as needed until it reaches your desired consistency and nicely coats the pasta.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper if needed.
  • Serve the cream cheese pasta immediately, garnished with extra grated parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley or basil if desired. Enjoy!

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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